Donald Trump has lashed out at former aide and reality TV star Omarosa Manigault-Newman as “wacky” and a “low life” after recordings she made of a conversation with the President were aired Monday night (AEST).
Mr Trump described Ms Manigault-Newman as “vicious” in a series of angry tweets posted after she released the recording of a conversation she said they shared after she was fired by White House chief of staff John Kelly in December.
The President appeared to be unaware that Ms Manigault Newman had been fired, according to an audio recording of the phone conversation played on NBC’s Today show.
“Omarosa? Omarosa what’s going on? I just saw on the news that you’re thinking about leaving? What happened?” a man purported to be Mr Trump is heard asking.
Ms Manigault Newman replies saying: “General Kelly – General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave.”
Mr Trump can be heard saying: “No. Nobody even told me about it. You know, they run a big operation but I didn’t know it. I didn’t know that. Damn it, I don’t love you leaving at all.”
Listen to the Trump conversation below:
#Breaking: @OMAROSA provides @NBCNews with this exclusive excerpt of a recording of a phone call that she says she received from President Trump the day after White House Chief of Staff John Kelly fired her. pic.twitter.com/OJe47RdcDC
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 13, 2018
She later told NBC she believed Mr Trump was aware she’d been fired at the time of their conversation and had subsequently told her he had “delegated” the dismissal.
“So, he knew. He knew that John Kelly was going to take me into the Situation Room, and lock me in there, threaten me, and say that things were going to get ugly for me, and there would be damage to my reputation,” Ms Manigault Newman said.
The Trump recording comes a day after she was slammed by Republican party politicians for revealing she recorded Mr Kelly firing her in the Situation Room.
The Situation Room is a sensitive compartmented information facility, or SCIF, and staff are not permitted to bring in mobile phones or other recording devices.
Admitting his angry tweets were “not presidential”, Mr Trump responded to the latest recording by saying Ms Manigault Newman was “hated” in the White House.
“She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok. People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart,” he tweeted, adding he had fired her for the “last time”.
Ms Manigault Newman became well-known through her appearances on The Apprentice, the reality TV show hosted by Mr Trump.
She was fired numerous times on those shows but was a love-to-hate character for audiences.
While I know it’s “not presidential” to take on a lowlife like Omarosa, and while I would rather not be doing so, this is a modern day form of communication and I know the Fake News Media will be working overtime to make even Wacky Omarosa look legitimate as possible. Sorry!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2018
Mr Trump claimed Ms Manigault Newman was “nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work” when at the White House, and that Mr Kelly called her a “loser” and tried to fire her.
“I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me – until she got fired!” he posted.
As a White House aide, Ms Manigault-Newman was in part responsible for trying to smooth over Mr Trump’s image with African-Americans, who are under-represented in the administration.
She is currently promoting a book, titled Unhinged, about her time in the White House to be released later this week, which takes aim at the President.
In her book, Ms Manigault Newman paints a damning picture of Mr Trump, including claims that tapes exist of him using the N-word as he filmed The Apprentice.
Ms Manigault Newman worked in the office of former vice president Al Gore, who also removed her from his administration in the late 1990s.
The security breach inside the White House has also raised eyebrows with suggestions it could land Ms Manigault Newman in legal trouble.